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UX VS UI

What does this all mean? Is it just a bunch of letters randomly strung together or is there a bigger meaning behind them?

For those who are not in the industry one would not easily know that those few letters actually mean something. That there is actually an entire industry built on those letters alone.

So what are they there for?

ux-verses-ui

UX in the reality of it actually means User Experience Design.

This is where user satisfaction levels are a main priority. Making sure that all user problems are seen to and affectively adjusted for better use. Be it in usability, perceivability, accessibility and or product experience by any given user. So basically these designers are mainly concerned with how any user would feel when using the given product. Whether it was easy to navigate, easy to access or even easy to use are what these designers look at. This industry has also encompassed the old school techniques of HCI, this being the “human-computer-interaction” design.

The elements these designers have to include into their disciplines, are aspects such as information architecture, visual design and interaction design. By including these aspects they will achieve a much better result when interacting with any user.

A brief look at these elements.

Information architecture:

The science behind findability and usability is the structuring and organizing of information of products and services for best results. This includes the organization of data in a meaningful way using the appropriate labelling to support navigation. With this, navigation needs clear and concise management to ensure that users have access to the needed information without any hassle otherwise all else is naught.

Visual design.

This has also been more commonly known as graphic design. It represents the more visual side of the whole process, taking the whole ‘look and feel’ of the interface into consideration. This is a very important aspect as it is where the message of the system is conveyed, using colour, image and symbols.

Interaction design.

This is aimed at giving a pleasurable end user experience. This plays a pivotal role in the whole system. Finding out what works best for any given user is a big concern as this needs to match user expectations from the very beginning. Building a great user experience is very difficult and requires high understanding of conceptual design and strong focus on user expectation and UI patterns.

There is so much to learn when it comes to these instances, taking a look at UI:

This is more commonly known as the User Interface. In the HCI industry this is in regard to the interaction space between human and computer. The UI designer’s greatest concern is to ensure effective operation from the human end and streamlined information feeds to the user to increase decision making ability. Making the users’ life easy when it comes to the understanding of the given tool. Optimising on the desired result. Minimal input from the users end, being a key factor. A common example of this is a computer system run in a state of the art motor vehicle. The computer knows what you want when you want it after asking you a few questions in the beginning and formulating a desired response based on algorithm and general psychology. I.e.: a desired play list, temperature control and seat adjustment. This is merely a basic example but shows the basis on which UI works. This is all result orientated when there is HCI involved.

UI designers avoid novelty responses, based on the premise that humans can only pay full attention to one thing at a time. This giving the simplistic result preference as what the user wants at any given time. Keeping commands and instruction codes very selective to each user, allowing streamlined usage for best results.

These are very technical industries. And having a very good grasp on human nature and requirements is vital. Psychology plays a very big role in the understanding of human needs and wants when it comes to interacting with any machine. Be it personal computer or even a car or machine tool. UX and UI go hand in hand and are both primarily focused on the user and their experience.

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